Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spiral Quilt - Part III

I read an article the other day which tells of a study that purportedly proves that there is a correlation between messiness and creativity.  I have not seen the stated scientific evidence, but I can attest from personal experience that this is a possibility.  I have several members of my family who learn differently, but are tagged with a misnomer as having "learning disabilities."  These individuals are not "disabled," but highly intelligent people who find some academic pursuits an uphill challenge.  They are incredibly creative and talented, and they tend to be unperturbed at being surrounded by chaos.

Does this mean that others of us, like me, are not creative?  I live in a box, I am a good fit in academia, and my creativity freezes when disorder creeps into my space.  I look at lots of art and quilts and it dawned on me that I have trouble creating the free-flowing designs that I love.  They never turn out to my satisfaction.  I successfully devise equally creative designs, but they tend to follow the lines and blocks of order and symmetry.  Does that mean I am any less creative?  I don't think so.

Why did I go off on that tangent?  I don't draw well, but I was never given sketch books as a child and none of my family did any freehand drawing so I got a late start.  I was given coloring books, which I loved.  I was so happy sitting down with my box of 24 crayons and would have drooled over a box of 64.  I loved coloring in the lines with plain color and later with shading.

Coloring in the lines is what this spiral quilt is ready for and I still love doing it.  It is like my coloring books and can be translated into fabric to be sewn into a lovely quilt.  Below is a colored version of the pentagon-triangle wedge (See Sprial Quilt Part II).

Versions A and B use exactly the same triangle and pentagon, but in version B I flipped the pentagon horizontally.  Turn your imagination loose and try lots of combinations and colors, then rotate the wedge(s) and see what you have.  Here are two ideas:

Once I have my spiral to a place where I like it, I head for my fabric stash and audition fabrics that I have that are close to what I want.  I always say I am going to use my stash, but you know how it goes.  You always need something you don't have so you have to go shopping!  I print (you can draw) a paper wedge, cut fabrics to fit and glue them on with a glue stick.  Then I take a photo, bring it into the computer and rotate it (you can use your mirror and/or imagination).  After flipping, switching, moving, and adjusting fabrics I settled on the design below:

"Reverie" fabric audition glued on paper, photographed, and rotated in the computer.
Because the fabrics are glued down roughly, the details are a bit wonky up close, but I was able to see a good approximation of the finished design.  I planned a black background so added the black triangles onto each wedge.  They are a single triangle of fabric added to each top side of the pentagon so there are no Y-seams.

TIP:  Turn your imagination loose during this process.  You can use all kinds of fabrics:  prints, batiks, solids, and more.  They can all work beautifully.

Next week I will show you my way of organizing this complex design so that it is easy to assemble.


  1. This is amazing, but I am a little confused about "flipping the pentagon horizontally". I can see the difference, but I can't seem to picture how you rotated it.

    1. Susan, the pentagon was simply "mirror-imaged".

    2. the blue parts are not the same or mirrored at all ....however the rest is

  2. Fantastic design! Seems really difficult though...

  3. What a beautiful piece and I can't wait to see it in fabric!